The University of Otago is a highly connected university. In addition to its important Treaty-based partnerships, the University engages widely, building strong relationships with academic, political, business, professional and community leaders.
Otago is a founding partner of the Matariki Network, a group of seven international universities – from the US, Canada, England, Germany, Sweden and Australia – that share an ethos of excellence, based on long-standing academic traditions. This network provides opportunities for multilateral collaboration in research and education, and the sharing of ideas and best practice.
In total, the University has more than 300 institutional partners worldwide and student exchange agreements with some 100 universities in 38 countries. International students typically comprise up to 15 per cent of the roll, however this has been significantly affected by the COVID‑19 pandemic.
University staff are actively represented on key educational, health and research bodies. In 2019 more than 23 per cent of academic staff served on government advisory boards and committees and around 60 per cent provided services to the public sector.
Students and alumni
Students are the lifeblood of the University of Otago and there is an excellent working relationship between the University leadership and the Otago University Students’ Association (OUSA), which represents the student body. OUSA offers a wide range of support and recreational services to students, complementing the substantial academic, health and pastoral services provided by the University.
The University also seeks to develop and maintain meaningful relationships with alumni and is in regular contact with more than 115,000 former students living in New Zealand and around the world. Testament to this strong connection, more than 100,000 people attended the University’s sesquicentennial celebrations held throughout 2019. Regular alumni events, attended by the Vice-Chancellor, are hosted throughout Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally.